Many people probably already know that June is Pride Month because that is when the Stonewall Uprising happened. Less people may know that a key figure in the Stonewall Uprising was Marsha P. Johnson, a Black self-identified drag queen whose community activism extended well beyond the events of the Uprising. Marsha fought for the community every day and worked to make those who had been disenfranchised feel proud and safe.
Though I have seen great strides to gain rights for my LGBTQ+ community in my years, including the most recent Supreme Court victory ruling that federal law prohibits discrimination against gay and transgender persons, there is still so much that needs to be done. Black, Latinx, and Indigenous trans women are still being violently attacked and murdered at a high rate. Police brutality against the LGBTQ+ community is still ongoing, including arrests and pepper spraying at a NYC Pride/Black Lives Matter protest just yesterday, the anniversary of Stonewall. So, I know there is still much work to be done, but I also know that there is much pride to be found in the community. I am proud of the people who have gone out to shed light on these ongoing injustices, I am proud of the New Mexico participants of We're Here from Shiprock and Farmington (Episode 4), I am proud of the work that so many UNM students and employees do to make sure LGBTQ+ voices are heard here, I am proud of the practitioners that have dedicated themselves to making sure health care inequalities are addressed at UNMH and in the New Mexico community, and I am proud of the ongoing advocacy we and our allies will continue to do. Just like Marsha P. Johnson, we must continue this work beyond a month, beyond a moment.
Ongoing work we are doing here in the Library includes updating our LGBTQ+ Guide to include more critical review and comprehensive resources and Safe Zone training for all Library employees (unfortunately we had to postpone this due to COVID-19 but we are working to reschedule). Work we can all do and resources we can all use to extend Pride past the month of June include:
Happy Pride now and always - I look forward to continuing the work here at the UNM Health Sciences Library and in the Albuquerque community with you all!